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Friday, November 6, 2009

Unemployment tops 10%

It was announced this morning that the Nation Unemployment rate had reached 10.2%. Steward founder Fred Tausch had this to say on the new:
“Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter sold us a false bill of goods. They promised the stimulus would put Americans back to work, but instead the unemployment rate has climbed to its highest level in a generation. The joblessness situation is a tragedy for those who continue to look for steady employment, and it’s a tragedy for taxpayers who will now have to pay for the failed $787 billion ‘jobs’ program.”
The Associated Press provides a look at the then and now of this recession:
Here, by the numbers, are some other ways the work force has changed since September 1982.


110.7 million: Size of the work force in September 1982

154 million: Size of the work force in October 2009


10.7 percent: Adult male unemployment rate in October 2009

8.1 percent: Adult female unemployment rate in October 2009

9.5 percent: Adult male unemployment rate in September 1982

8.4 percent: Female unemployment rate in September 1982

ANALYSIS: The greater disparity between men and women in this recession reflects the heavy impact of layoffs in male-dominated fields, such as construction and manufacturing. Industries with higher female employment, namely education and health care, have actually added jobs during the recession.


15.5 percent: Unemployment rate in October 2009 for those without a high school diploma

11.2 percent: Rate for high school graduates

4.7 percent: Rate for college graduates

3 percent: Unemployment rate in March 1982 for college graduates (at the time, figure was reported once a year)


6.8 percent: Proportion of unemployed with college degree in September 1982

14.7 percent: Proportion in October 2009

ANALYSIS: College graduates still have much lower jobless rates than those with less education, but they are more likely to be unemployed than in 1982. Job cuts in the financial industry and in high-skilled manufacturing, such as the aerospace industry, have caught up with them, according to Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution. And companies in all sectors are more willing to cut middle managers than in previous recessions, he added, which also affects college graduates.


16.6 weeks: Average length of unemployment in September 1982

26.9 weeks: Average length in October 2009, a record

ANALYSIS: More than a third of the jobless in October were unemployed for 6 months or more, compared with less than 18 percent in September 1982. One reason is that layoffs were more likely to be temporary back then, as manufacturers furloughed workers until demand returned. But last month only 10.9 percent of the unemployed were on temporary layoff, compared with 22.2 percent in 1982.


15.7 percent: Black unemployment in October 2009

19.7 percent: The rate in September 1982

ANALYSIS: While unemployment among African-Americans is higher than the nationwide rate, it is much lower than in 1982. That reflects both good and bad trends, according to Roderick Harrison, a senior research scientist at Howard University. On the positive side, there is a much larger black professional middle class that is less subject to layoffs than was the case 26 years ago, he said. But on the negative side, more African-American men have dropped out of the labor force after giving up looking for work, Harrison said — that means they aren't reflected in the unemployment statistics.


Michigan: 15.8 percent

West Virginia: 15.6 percent

Alabama: 13.8 percent

Ohio: 13.1 percent

Illinois: 12.2 percent


Michigan: 15.3 percent

Nevada: 13.3 percent

Rhode Island: 13 percent

California: 12.2 percent

South Carolina: 11.6 percent

ANALYSIS: Manufacturers in the rust belt were hit particularly hard in the early 1980s, putting Midwestern states such as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois in the top 5. While Michigan again has the nation's highest unemployment today, states like Nevada and California are suffering from the housing bubble.


4 percent: Teenagers' proportion of the labor force in October 2009

7.7 percent: Proportion in September 1982

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